Los Angeles Overtime & Wage Lawyer
Workers in California are entitled to overtime pay at one and a half times their regular rate for every hour worked over eight hours in one day, over 40 hours in one week, or for a seventh consecutive day. Employees are additionally entitled to double time pay after working 12 hours in one day, or after eight hours on a seventh consecutive day. Unfortunately, not all California workers know their rights to overtime pay, and not all companies fully understand their obligations either. Even worse, some employers know full well when they are required to pay overtime, but they deliberately use deceptive means to avoid making required payments.
Whether it was the employer’s deliberate action or an unintentional mistake, you deserve to be paid overtime to which you are entitled. The Kawahito Law Group represents workers in Los Angeles and throughout Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino, and other California counties who have been denied their fairly earned wages. Read below to learn some of the main ways employers violate overtime laws, and contact our Los Angeles overtime & wage lawyers if you believe you have not been paid overtime that you are owed.
Misclassification as exempt employee
Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California law, the req hours worked over 40 hours in a week applies to most workers, but there are exceptions. A common problem is that employers misclassify employees as exempt from overtime when they are really not. Regardless whether your employer labels your position as exempt, it is your actual job duties that count. If you believe you have been misclassified as exempt, call our office for a consultation to determine whether you may actually be entitled to overtime. Below are common overtime exemptions.
The FLSA and California law allows employers to exempt some executive, administrative and professional employees from overtime. These workers must be paid on a salary basis of at least $455 per week. New U.S. Department of Labor regulations increased this threshold to $913 per week, but that increase is being challenged in court. In California, an exempt employee must earn at least twice the California minimum wage. Contact Kawahito Law Group to determine whether you are exempt or not under the current salary basis test.
In addition to the salary basis test, each exemption has its own job duties test. Generally speaking, the following job duties must apply to the individual to be exempt as an executive, administrative or professional employee:
Executive – primary duty involves management, directs the work of at least two full-time employees, has the authority to hire and fire or make employment recommendations
Administrative – performs non-manual or office work directly related to management or general business operations
Professional – work requires advanced education and knowledge, a California license or certification in certain professions, or other advanced technical skill
The FLSA allows overtime exemptions for other employees as well. For these employees, the salary basis test may not apply, but each exemption still has its own duties test. These exempt employees include:
Outside Salespersons – more than half of their time is spent making sales or taking orders outside of the employer’s place of business. Commissioned inside sales persons can also be exempt from overtime, provided they earn at least one and a half times the minimum wage and receive the majority of their income from bona fide commissions.
Misclassification as independent contractor
Calling an employee an “independent contractor” is another common strategy employers use to avoid paying overtime to workers who should be receiving it. However, in California a worker is presumed to be an employee, absent specific proof that the person is actually an independent contractor. The following questions should be considered in determining independent contractor status.
- Does the person work exclusively for the employer and no one else?
- How important are the worker’s services to the employer’s business?
- Does the employer control the worker’s work hours?
- Does the employer control the way in which the work is performed?
- Does the worker provide his or her own tools and equipment, or are these provided by or paid for by the employer?
There are a dozen different factors which can be considered in determining whether the employer has control over the worker regarding the way in which work is performed. The more control is exercised over the worker, the more likely it is that the worker is an employee and not an independent contractor.
Time rounding policies
Some employees use time rounding policies that round clock-in and clock-out time up or down. While neutral time-rounding policies may be lawful on their face, often in practice, they result in a systematic underpayment of wages to employees. Moreover, time rounding policies may often deprive employees of time worked that would be compensable as overtime.
Financial recovery for overtime violations
Unpaid overtime is rarely a one-time occurrence. If you have noticed an error, it is likely that you have not been properly paid for some time, and that other workers in similar positions at your company have been missing out on overtime pay as well. If you have not properly been paid overtime, you are entitled to collect all your unpaid overtime pay for the previous three or four years, and your employer can be required to cover your lawyer’s fees and court costs. The employer may be forced to pay additional penalties as well.
Call Kawahito Law Group in Los Angeles with Your Questions Regarding Unpaid Overtime
If you believe that you have been unlawfully denied overtime pay to which you are entitled, call the Los Angeles overtime & wage lawyers of Kawahito Law Group at 310-746-5300. We will investigate the situation at your workplace and represent you to collect the full amount of your unpaid wages. If others were affected, we can represent all affected employees in class action litigation, a complex area of law in which our firm is particularly experienced and adept. Call today for a free consultation.